Iraq; Honour Killing; Privatisation; Indonesian Election: Tasmanian Forests Decision; Global Warming

There appears to be fractionally more direct US involvement in Iraq and also some air attacks on ISIS by Syria. This indicates that, with  Egypt and Saudi Arabia and Iran also opposed to the extremists , Iraq has potential “allies” of a sort in repelling ISIS. The US has also indicated  its opposition and Kerry has stated “A united Iraq is a stronger Iraq, and our policy is to respect the territorial integrity of Iraq as a whole”. While little significance can be given to Kerry’s utterances, there does seem some possibility of more active US involvement.

Relevant are the developing problems Obama has at home, with the announcement by House Speaker Boehner that he plans to initiate a lawsuit in July against Obama for misusing his executive powers and eroding the power of the legislative branch, but is not about convening impeachment proceedings  (see this editorial from Wall St Journal). Interestingly, this misuse involves the relaxation of border controls, allowing increased entry from central American countries, and also relates to a wide range of domestic issues. It coincides with criticisms on Iraq by ministers who operated under Bush and a majority who think something needs to be done to help Iraq.

Greg Sheridan suggests (see below) that core Western interests in the Middle East are not democracy but “stability, the reliable supply of oil and the avoidance of massive human rights atrocities”. But there must surely be another, viz the prevention of the establishment of another caliphate state with actual or potential access to nuclear weapons. Such a development would constitute a serious threat to the Western world. Unfortunately, as Sheridan’s comments on US policies suggest, it is doubtful that the existing US Administration recognises this, although a useful  forward step has been the recent guarantee by Secretary of State Kerry of early weaponry assistance to Egypt’s new government. While that government is allowing a bad judicial decision to stand, its opposition to extremist Islamic movements is important and could help stop their spread.

Other important articles below include Bolt’s damning critique of those who have defended the invitation to a Muslim to speak at the Opera House on “Honour Killings are Morally Justified”; my letter published in the AFR suggesting that “experts” should be more favourably disposed to privatisations; an article indicating that the Presidential election in Indonesia could now be won by a former general who has apparently accused the previous favourite of having Chinese links; another article by Bolt on the federal government’s decision to drop its promise to open up a section of protected Tasmanian forests; and an astonishing presentation on climate change by Clive Palmer and Al Gore at which Palmer appears to have agreed to support the dropping of the carbon  tax in return for the Coalition agreeing to an ETS when (if) other major countries do so. This could mean a cessation of emission reduction policies.